Sunday, August 8, 2010

eSDS / MSDS management for meeting Legislative requirements

Dear Friends,

As you might know a safety data is needed for chemical products considered as dangerous to health or environment. According to REACh Article 59, the threshold of concern is typically 1% w/w (solids or liquds) or 02% v/v (gas) or 0.1% of highter for CMR, vPvP, PBT or Cat 1 sensitizers. One of the major changes in the MSDS as extended Safety Data Sheet includes envisaged exposure routes and real use patterns – coversing Exposure Scenarios. One of the obligation also is keeping records of supply of the latest SDS.
So for meeting the Compliance for REACh, Vendor MSDS needed to be managed optimally. Ensuring that new eSDS should be properly analyzed and made accessible to employees inside the organization. Whenever a new chemical is introduced its related MSDS should be properly assessed and informed to all the responsible people. I) MSDS Distribution and II) Processing of external MSDS / eSDS into EH&S are the two requirements for meeting the legislative requirements. So how to achieve these two requirements using existing SAP system ?

The first requirement – making the MSDS accessible to stakeholders – might already be in place for major companies. Like deploying into their internal websites, providing downloadable MSDS into their websites outside SAP or even providing some Document management software to access such information. In this aspect - TechniData’s EHS – WWW tool is a very useful component in meeting MSDS disribution via internet. It automatically converts the RTF documents into PDF and posts them into website, which can be accessed based on different search cabilities – simulating SAP EH&S Report Information System – though not much literature is available in public domain.

The Second Requirement - Making the assessment of the revised MSDS / eSDS requires manual process of actually going through each MSDS identifying the changes (majority it would be Uses, Exposure Scenarios and restrictions) it contains and creating required book marks and releasing it to the internal distribution group. However, the limitation would be it’s a manual process and companies desire some automation here. There are couple of options are there which are still in development stage which will take some more time to realise – like use of “mapping” databases from the local systems and use of some connectors / RFC to actually transfer the contents into SAP system, or using of technology similar to IMDS for processing the worklists to change the content. The other possibility would convert Vendor MSDS to XML files and load them directly into SAP to reflect the changes like some 3rd party data loading tools. SAP software has a in built supply chain communication to derive such information using Emails, Self Service Portals, XML plugins which ensure such processes as part of SAP REACh and Product Compliance 2.0.